Are you a keyword cannibal?

By: Jon Wade

Date: 12 September 2018

Are you a keyword cannibal?A business blog is a great way to win a loyal core of regular visitors, who will see you as an authority in your industry or niche and share your content with friends.

Well-crafted blog posts can also boost your SEO if they are keyword-optimised - helping to spell out to Google exactly what your site is all about and improving your search ranking for those terms.

That all sounds great - but getting those keywords right can sometimes be a balancing act. Overdo the keyword saturation in your blog posts, and you will only succeed in confusing the Google bots - and that's never a good strategy.

Let’s find out more about content cannibalisation, including what it is, the potential impact, and most importantly how to avoid it.

What is content cannibalisation?

There is a common belief that when it comes to the top keywords, it's a case of "the more the merrier", and that featuring them across as many pages as possible will boost your SEO.

In fact, this is a complete misapprehension. All it achieves is a lower click-through rate, poorer conversion rates and diminished authority. The reason is that the pages are essentially competing against one another, and Google is forced to decide which page is the best match for the keyword.

Domain authority will inevitably suffer, as your pages are competing with one another over the same space. But that is only the beginning. Google might well decide that the blog post, as opposed to the product page, is the better result, due to the fact that it is fresher content.

Worse still, if all Google is seeing is the same keywords on every page, it will potentially devalue the entire site - effectively, it will give up and try somewhere else instead.

Solving the problem

Keyword cannibalisation is all too easy to do. But the good news is that it is also a relatively simple problem to identify and solve. Perform a simple analysis of your main pages and their associated keywords. You can do this by either using a keyword mapping tool, or just listing them on a spreadsheet.

When you’ve got them in front of you, it is simply a matter of running through the list and looking for duplicates.

Getting rid of keyword cannibalisation is usually a matter of organisation and structure. Take your most authoritative page, and make that a specific landing page that has the primary keywords. Then link all related pages back to that main page.

If that is not possible, another idea is to take two "competing" but similar pages and merge them into one. Problem solved, and at the same time it solves any issues you might have with thin or redundant content.

Finally, it is always worth thinking a little laterally to come up with new keywords. This is where the help of an SEO consultant can really pay dividends, so don’t be afraid to call in the experts.

Sponsored post. Copyright © 2018 Jon Wade, content manager at FSE Online.